Author – Jordan Ifueko
Genre – YA Fantasy
Audiobook Length – 13 hours and 48 minutes
Narrated by Joniece Abbott-Pratt
While listening to audiobooks, I often find myself getting distracted and completely forgetting large parts of the book or listening to them on 1.5x or 2x. Around an hour into Raybearer and I knew I wanted to enjoy it the it was meant to be.
Raybearer tells the story of Tarisai, a young girl of 11 who is lonely and yearns for her mother, The Lady who leaves for long stretches of time. Tasked with an unbreakable command, Tarisai is sent to Aritsar, the capital of the 12 realms to join the Crown Prince Ekundayo’s Council of 11. Fast forward, Tarisai now 16 is the High Judge Elect and has found a family in Aritsar among the 11 who are bound by the power of the Ekundayo’s Ray.
Raybearer is an incredible story of a young girl breaking through the expectations of others and what is supposed to be her destiny. Often in YA fantasy novels, the heroines are rude and cold, meant to portray a kind of badass-ness, but Tarisai is an example of a strong character who is kind and thoughtful.
It makes for a gripping story as Tarisai along with her friends in the Council especially Sanjeet and Kirah come of age while learning the functioning of an empire and navigating childhood as well as responsibilities upon them. It must make for a fine read but it certainly was above par as an audiobook.
Joniece Abbott-Pratt’s narration is magical and spell binding especially as she gives life to various songs and tunes. The pace of the book is almost lulling while remaining engrossing.
Raybearer is definitely a must-read for those who want a break from the regular YA Fantasy tropes and want more kindness and compassion in their characters right from the beginning.